...Where Will The Money Come From?...

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While lots of companies are eager to develop new space technologies, they won't get far without financial backing. One source of that money, paradoxically, may be NASA. "NASA has just received close to 4,000 proposals for advanced technologies for space exploration from private companies, and they will be giving away something like $600 million over the next year or so for new concepts, new ideas and new technologies," Jerry Grey, director for aerospace policy at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told NPR on Friday. Meanwhile, Walt Anderson, CEO of Orbital Recovery Corp., warned the annual conference of the Space Frontier Foundation on Saturday that fledgling U.S. companies may lose out to entrepreneurs around the globe if the U.S. doesn't get the regulatory climate right. "Europe has the same type of regulations as ours to prevent technologies from falling into the wrong hands," Anderson said, as reported by the Associated Press. "The difference is their implementation of those same recommendations is more realistic and allows us to run our business. ... We have to keep in mind that the United States, while we've brought a lot of technology into the world, may no longer be the center of the universe for space forever." Later this month, the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee will hold an all-day meeting in Washington, D.C., and will address such issues as funding, insurance and training of the next generation of aerospace technicians.